Review #299

So the finale of this steamy fantasy trilogy is a 4.6/5 stars. The author has done a really good job of the pacing for the believability of going from enemies to “I’d scorch the earth to save you”

I’ve decided that this series is like the movie, Inception. The first time you see it/read it, you’re frustrated but the second or third time it’s just amazing. I will probably enjoy this trilogy more the second time I read it because I won’t be so angry with all the secrets. I loved the Well of Memory chamber. I love the Blade of Ruination. I love that a ticking time clock has finally begun. Things make more sense and I wish a bunch of this was shown in the second book.

While processing the end, I still have unanswered questions. I feel like it could’ve been more crisp for the developmental editing in regards to the suspense/mystery elements.

Here’s my live unorganized rants while reading. Warning for spoilers:

The prologue of twenty years earlier just leaves me confused honestly. I’m unsure if what’s real and true anymore and am a bit hesitant that any of it will be clear by the end of the series or if my mind will be a jumbled mess like Sofia’s.

So in chapter 1, a LOT of I for
Action is recapped in 22 pages. Some was a bit too much for right away to be reminded and others were perfectly woven in. I’m glad Emilia and Wrath didn’t go through with their next step because her mind wasn’t in the right place. I also wasn’t expecting the kidnapping so it starts with a great bang. I’m so flustered about her sister in general but in a good way which means the editing ways done well. I’m already in love with the prose such as: “ Between his scorching stare and the way he silently traced each of my curves as of plotting all the things he was about to do, it was almost enough to melt me right then and there.”

Sidenote: If her physical self is elsewhere then how can she feel the cold manacles?

There’s also pov breaks like “my smile was a beautiful nightmare.” But she can’t see her own smile.

So I’ve noticed this in the other books as well. But it takes me out of the story when it’s written that “she won’t contemplate about …” or “she isn’t thinking of …” If that’s true then just don’t mention it and show me what IS being thought about.

In chapter two it’s frustrating to not know why the possible villain is being bad, but also not knowing who the villain is or their plan.

The steamy scenes are growing in intensity as the trilogy progresses and I don’t mind in the least.

The back and forth feels like too much. She wanted to destroy her sister and now she wants to defend her? Which is it?

So they finally did it. But idk how special it is if they’re already had sex hundreds of times before but don’t remember. I don’t like that he has kept secrets from her. So… is she immortal? Because she was 18 in the human world? I’m so confused. Is her twin the first witch? The revelation of who she is doesn’t seem as dramatic as it’s supposed to be because that’s already who she was intended to become.

Oh… goddess… well that is more intense than “his queen.”

Okay. Chapter 7 made the story better so far. The biggest thing I’m having trouble with is that it feels like so much has been speculated on that the plot/events are “falling” into an answer but that none of this had been been planned out beforehand. I could be very wrong but it feels like there’s holes in the story that don’t add up and that the conspiracy feels messy overall. When Emilia says to Wrath, things don’t make sense or “this isn’t adding up,” I completely agree but in a negative way. It feels like the answers weren’t known beforehand and concepts just kind of rolled down a hill together gathering momentum but flinging random chunks of dirt off in different directions as it spirals out of control.

I was a bit disappointed with the post sex scene. I had an inkling something big would happen when they joined, but there were no tender moments which made their “first time” on page feel more cheap and superficial.

WHY is Vittoria so mean to her sister now? Did she ever love her? How did she find out she’s the goddess of death? When did she find out? Why didn’t she tell Emilia about her plans back in Venice during their mortal life? What exactly is the curse? It keeps being brought up but there’s so many side stories I don’t know what it is. I’m guessing something about goddess powers being stripped away by demons? Why? And are they truly twins or goddess twins or mortal twins? When were they both? How old are they? How long has Emilia and Wrath known each other? Who was the first witch? There’s just sooo many unfinished questions and more keeps getting piled on but earlier ones aren’t ever answered to tie up the loose ends.

Okay. So this is one of those dramatic moments where she doesn’t seem aware of reality. The quote: “I sounded more demonic than any of the princess ever did.” First, you don’t have a memory, so you don’t know what they have always sounded like in the past. Secondly, um no. Not believable.

Ugh in the prison cell I’m irritated. So many of these answers could’ve been given earlier but multiple conversations or opportunities were cut off or the person gave some lame excuse for not responding. It would’ve still made this book compelling if we knew even half of these answers beforehand so it wasn’t as confusing

I don’t understand the priority of solving who killed Vesta. It doesn’t seem like this needs to be a focus.

Wait. So is the crone the same thing as the first witch? So much of this could’ve been tightened up and given more clarity earlier on. But it feels like a wheel of never ending questions layers on thick.

So I’m glad she and Wrath were separated for too long because I like their scenes together. But I still don’t understand why I’m feeling forced to care about this Vesta creature. I have no investment in her. She doesn’t matter to me. So I don’t care that she was murdered and want them to stop figuring out why and rather focus on how to defeat Vitoria. It feels like they’re all paying attention to the wrong problem.

This quote seems to sum up the series for me: “It was a tangled web with many threads winding and twining together until they were so knotted it felt impossible to cut through.”

If so many in their realm knew of who Emilia was before why did EVERYONE keep her in the dark and also how were they okay with her being there?

It seems like Wrath is almost invincible. I want them to mention the way he could be defeated a few more times to make me worry.

Vampires feels like a bit much for how complex this story is. Are they truly needed? There’s already so much going on.

Halfway I’m glad that more answers are finally given. It’s very much needed.

I feel like the end of chapter 16 is finally what I’ve been waiting 2.5 books for. And then the revelation of the Shifting Isles was perfect and pieces finally started being put into place. I still have some questions. And Vesta still means nothing to me. The sister bond is super complicated and I’m a little tired of the back and forth so there’s still no trust there at all.

The scenes with Wrath in them are written much stronger than others.

Knowing what we do about the alternate reality of what is The Shifting Isles, I’m confused how anyone is “murdered” at all?

The loving “in half quantity” doesn’t make sense when it’s contradicted with quotes like “He might not be able to tell me he loved me, but he could certainly show me.” So… is it all a lie?

Oooh. “The most important hour of your existence is about to begin.” And I have 70 pages left!

Now that I’ve finished the book at page 401, I look back & realize the climax of the story seemed to be at page 338. I was expecting another “attack” or bigger conflict right but that didn’t happen. So I was bracing for a large hit and it never came. This vital scene at 84% of the way through the book felt anticlimatic because I was waiting for more.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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